Working Group "Space Weather and Ionosphere"

Chair: Klaus Börger (University of Bonn, Germany)

Introduction

It is well known that space geodetic methods are under influence of ionospheric refraction, and therefore from the very beginning of these techniques geodesy deals with the ionosphere. In this context sophisticated methods and models have been developed in order to determine, to represent and to predict the ionosphere. Apart from this the ionosphere fits into another issue called „space weather“, which describes the interactions between the constituents of space and earth. To be more precise space weather means the conditions in space with a significant impact on space-based and ground-based technology as well as on earth and its inhabitants. Solar radiation, that is electromagnetic emission as well as particle emission, is the main cause or “drive” of space weather.

Originally, geodesy, or to be more precise, space geodetic methods have considered the ionosphere as a disturbing factor that affects signal propagation and that has to be corrected. This (geodetic) perspective has been changed over time and the ionosphere has become a target value so that geodetic observations are used to determine the ionosphere. Different groups have developed models of high quality, e.g. 3D-models which describe the ionosphere as a function of longitude, latitude and time or even 4D-models accounting for the height as well. However, since the ionosphere is a manifestation of space weather, geodesy should contribute to space weather research, and in this respect completely new scientific questions arise, in particular with respect to the so called “geo-effect”, which is the impact of space weather in general.

Goals

There are two principal goals of the proposed study group. First, to connect the “geodetic” ionosphere research with solar-terrestrial physics, in order to consider the complete cause-effect-chain. Second, the above mentioned “geo-effect” has to be investigated in detail, which is an important aspect, because modern society depends to a great extent on technology, i.e. technology that can be disturbed, that can be harmed or that even can be destroyed by extreme space weather events.

Objectives

Improvements and enlargements of ionosphere models (including scintillations)
Geodetic contributions to investigate the impact of space weather/the ionosphere (extreme events) on satellite motion
Geodetic contributions to investigate the impact of space weather/the ionosphere (extreme events) on communication

Members

Klaus Börger (Germany), chair
Mahmut Onur Karsioglu (Turkey), vice-chair
Michael Schmidt (Germany)
Jürgen Matzka (Germany)
Barbara Görres (Germany)
George Zhizhao Liu (Hong Kong, China)
Ehsan Forootan (UK)
Johannes Hinrichs (Germany)

Reports